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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Nate and Gabrielle are two teenagers in love, eager to start their junior year of high school. However, their lives turn upside down when Gabrielle discloses that she is pregnant with Nate's child. Struggling to process the momentous news, Nate and Gabrielle slowly try to bring their lives to a semblance of normalcy. But conflict arises when the two of them inform their respective parents, who come from vastly polarizing backgrounds. Nate comes from a conservative Christian household where the mere mention of the word abortion is taboo, while Gabrielle's divorced parents fall on the other end of the spectrum. Caught in the midst of two opposing paths, Nate and Gabrielle must now carve their own way. Sincere and heartfelt, Absolute Value is a poignant coming-of-age tale written by Anna Henrik.
Author Anna Henrik handles the sensitive issue of teenage pregnancy with a deft touch and explores its ramifications with a thoughtful approach resembling movies such as Juno or Never Maybe Sometimes Always. She captures both sides of the argument in a graceful and intelligent manner that feels authentic and sincere. The characters are portrayed in a realistic manner that makes them all the more compelling to read. Nate, Gabrielle, and their respective parents seem like real people, which gives the narrative an added sense of authenticity. I found the conflict between Nate and his parents particularly absorbing to read. Absolute Value is an enthralling read from start to finish. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories with mature themes.